LIVE REVIEW: Ariana Grande – Brisbane Entertainment Centre
2017 has seen a lack of massive pop shows gracing the shores of Australia but Ariana Grande changed that with her biggest production to date. The Dangerous Woman Tour sees the songstress proving to sold out crowds why she is currently the biggest name in pop. The tour was under question if it would resume after the devastating Manchester Arena bombing at her concert in May but Grande showed professionalism and strength by resuming in Paris. This marks the first time that she has toured Australia and with all shows sold out or with limited tickets available I think it confirmed the love affair the world is having with the pint size superstar.
Brisbane Entertainment Centre was the last stop on her east coast Australian tour and the 14,000 strong crowd weren’t shy in sharing their excitement for her arrival. The vibe was slightly compromised with a support act noticeably missing from the running times which made the 830pm start time a bit of a push. When it came time for the arena lights to finally dim the screams were deafening and a 10 minute countdown video commenced. She emerged onto the stage to the opening bars of “Be Alright” surrounded by an army of dancers. Dressed in all black they vogued their way through a simple and effective opening number and it immediately became clear that she is the real deal. Her vocals were flawless minus some brief sound issues during the first verse and had everyone in awe with her infamous falsetto. She went straight into fan favourites “Everyday”, “Bad Decisions” and “Let Me Love You” and had everyone dancing instantly. After a short video interlude she returned to the stage with a costume change to deliver some of her best mid tempo ballads like “Knew Better/Forever Boy”, “Touch It”, “Leave Me Lonely” and the emotional “One Last Time”. She kept her audience interaction short and to the point with a brief “Brisbane are you with me?” and later proclaiming how much she loves being in Australia. However there were no inspiring speeches or quirky anecdotes that you would expect the popstar to have. While her interaction was nearly non-existent she did seem visibly excited to be there and that made up for it. Her band had a moment to shine with a groovy solo before a female empowerment video introduced “Side To Side” which she performed while riding a gym bike and still serving flawless vocals. A funky remix of “Bang Bang” was perfectly melded into “Greedy” which was one of the most fun performances of the night. Ariana dollar bills were shot into the air like confetti as the songstress hit that massive key change and had the crowd in the general admission hysterically running around trying to catch one. Medicore hit “Focus” proved to still be average live and was followed by the snooze worthy “I Don’t Care” and “Moonlight”. She re-ignited the flame with the hits “Love Me Harder” and “Break Free” before the most emotional section of the show. Mid tempo ballad “Sometimes” saw pink balloons falling from the roof while “Thinking Bout You” saw the stage light up in LGBT colours in support of equality. She then performed a cover of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” which was dedicated to the victims of the Manchester bombing. It’s safe to say there was not one dry eye in the arena in that moment. She then closed the show with the anthems “Into You” and “Dangerous Woman” which left me in awe of her whistle tone and cementing the fact that she is a genuine popstar.
The production was quite simple and had this mature and nostalgic approach. It reminded me of past tours from the likes of Mariah Carey and Britney Spears which were all about the vocals, band and choreography. There were no massive props or theatrics and allowed the big “OMG” moments to be brought from the raw talent on the stage. The light show was impressive and was complimented by bursts of C’O2 smoke. She held the audiences undivided attention from start to finish and had you leaving the arena with a massive smile and feeling empowered. The amount of radiating love and unity in that arena was incredible and was promising with the upcoming postal plebiscite.